The significance of Martin Cash’s article is that as energy turns to electrification, Manitoba retains its status as a have-not province. Bison undertakes its innovative development and testing of electric and hydrogen trucks in other provinces.
In Manitoba, we have been obsessed with exporting our low-priced electricity at a loss to other jurisdictions while they use it to develop their economies. If exporting our electricity was profitable, we wouldn’t be impacted by rising electricity rates that always exceed the cost of living in our province.
Anyone charging an electric vehicle pays more than nine cents per kilowatt hour. If they did not charge their electric vehicle, the electric energy from Manitoba Hydro would have to disposed of elsewhere, most likely, and unprofitably, into the electric spot or opportunity market in the U.S. at two to four cents per kilowatt hour.
If Manitoba is to climb out of being a "have-not" province, its abundance of electricity has to be used profitably within the province. This is to build up the economy of businesses and transportation, and reduce importing refined gasoline and diesel so that money stays in the province.
Government’s reluctance to move forward on this may be impacted in part by loss of road taxes. It doesn’t take much effort to see what other jurisdictions have done. Saskatchewan requires a $150-per-year levy on plug-in electric vehicles.
With Bill 35 being cancelled, an opportunity now exists to revise the Manitoba Hydro Act to build our economy up through profitable electrification within the province and become a "have" province. Then innovative companies such as Bison may see benefits for developments and testing in Manitoba.